Delphine: Three and a Month

Today Delphine is at daycare. Blake is in Montreal on business so to lighten my load, my in-laws took Delphine for a sleep-over last night. She was really excited to go: "Can I sleep in the crib?" They have a Pack n' Play and Delphine still loves to sleep in it even though she can't stretch out in it any more. This afternoon I will go and pick her up from daycare at around 4:30; when I get there Cordelia will be mobbed by all the little children who are not lucky enough to have a baby sister, and Delphine will play it cool, walking away from me and finding something else to do. After a few minutes she will come back and show me what she is doing, and then she will say "Wanna go home." And we will walk around the corner and down the block, stopping to examine an ant or some broken glass, and to step up onto the entrance at Pizza Pizza.

She's good company these days. She is hardly ever arbitrarily defiant any more; mostly she is compliant and friendly, and if she isn't it's because she's tired or hungry or she wants to wrest your attention away from Cordelia.

I'm feeling a little sad lately because we don't read as much as we used to, because of Cordelia. I used to literally sit and read to her for an hour or more, but Cordelia isn't old enough to sit and be read to yet, so she comes and crawls all over us and pulls the book away and is generally a nuisance. I try and read to Delphine while Cordelia is napping, but I also have to fit in sundry housework in the hour she's asleep, so we usually don't get through more than a couple of books. I hope once Cordelia is old enough to be read to properly we can go back to our old habits.

Cordelia is, unfortunately for Delphine, at that Godzilla stage where she lumbers around the house destroying things because that is all she is capable of; she pulls books off shelves and bends them and mouths them, she overturns towers of blocks and deranges puzzles. As an adult I can accept this, knowing it is temporary, and I can move my precious things to high places, but Delphine can't. She's stuck down there at Cordelia's level and she doesn't appreciate my "she's just a baby" excuses. I wish Delphine had her own room where she could keep things, but for now she is just going to have to suck it up. I suppose it will build character. In a way it's nice that she gets to go to daycare and be free of the barbarian horde for a few hours.

Other than those unfortunate incidents, Delphine gets along quite well with Cordelia. She knows that you are not supposed to snatch toys from her, that if she has something you want you have to find something else for her to play with in exchange. She shares her food with Cordelia and she knows to ask what babies can have. She knows to be quiet when Cordelia is sleeping. She likes to make Cordelia laugh. She is a good big sister.

They have this chart of verbal development which tell you when you should worry -- say, if your three-year-old isn't forming sentences or if your one-and-a-half-year-old doesn't say five words or something. The chart goes up to age five and apparently if Delphine were five, we wouldn't need to worry about her verbal development. She knows colours, she asks the meaning of words, she counts to ten, she knows all the nursery rhymes. She knows nursery rhymes you haven't even heard of.

She's starting to show signs of literacy; she knows that letters are associated with sounds, and she has started asking "what does that say" when we read books. She can recognize some words, although I am still not sure if it is recognition of the word or just remembering what that particular instance of that particular word is. I mean, we were reading an Eric Carle book and I pointed to the word "Eric" and asked her what it was. She got it right, but did she recognize the word "Eric" or did she remember it was "Eric" from the last time we read the same book? Either way it's a step in the right direction; all we need to do now is teach her the correct spelling for "Erik".

I feel like I am being too braggy and I should try and think of something bad to say about Delphine, but I am not trying to brag. I just really like her.